The Cleveland Browns overcame significant adversity in 2023 to finish the season with an 11-6 record.
Injuries chased Deshaun Watson, Jack Conklin, Nick Chubb, and Jedrick Wills to the sidelines while many other Browns spent parts of the year on IR.
Cleveland also used five different starting quarterbacks to get through the regular season and into the playoffs for the first time since 2020.
Keeping the team competitive through such turmoil has placed Kevin Stefanski as the leading NFL Coach of the Year candidate.
However, despite all the positive accolades, word came from the organization this morning that Stefanski is cleaning house and has fired a number of his offensive staff.
After speculation about whether offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt was one of the casualties, ESPN’s Jake Trotter has confirmed that Van Pelt is out as OC.
“On to the next one. Proud of my time there,” Van Pelt reportedly told Trotter.
Alex Van Pelt tells me he's out as Browns offensive coordinator. "On to the next one. Proud of my time there." AVP had been with Cleveland since 2020. (Also, the Browns fired RB coach Stump Mitchell and not renewed the contract of TE coach T.C. McCartney)
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 17, 2024
Van Pelt had been with the Browns since 2020 and worked with quarterbacks Baker Mayfield, Watson, and Joe Flacco.
Despite the numerous injuries on the offensive side of the ball, Cleveland still ended the season ranked 10th overall in points.
That marks a significant increase over 2022’s 18th ranking in the same category.
The Browns also made the postseason in 2020 and 2023 while Van Pelt was running the offense.
Regardless of what the Browns accomplished this season, the NFL is very much a “what have you done for me lately” league.
Losing badly to the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round most likely didn’t help Van Pelt’s employment status.